Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse



Monday, February 11, 2013

What Do You Do with an Old Linen Dishtowel?



Good morning, all. I hope your week is off to a good start.

My husband came in to report spotting a bald eagle in one of our treetops this morning--that was exciting! It was too high up for me to get a decent photo of him with my simple camera, unfortunately. The eagle perched there for about ten minutes before flying off. A most unusual occurrence!

Today's Craftsy Mystery Knit-Along Update. It will be short, because I haven't made much progress! I did finally get all 321 stitches cast on. I think that's the highest number of stitches I've ever had to deal with before, and the yarn is so light and fine, it was a particular challenge both to my shaky hands and my myopic eyes. Some of the other knitters had a good idea, though, and that was to place stitch markers every 25 or 50 stitches to make counting easier. That sure helped!

Anyway, I have gotten a few rows on now, and I'm learning a new technique called "wrap and turn". Or at least I hope I'm learning it. I'm following directions, anyway, but I won't be sure until further down the line if I've actually done it correctly. I'm hoping I won't have to rip out and start again.

I did find a small flaw in the first 3 rows and did some soul-searching as to whether or not it was worth it to rip out and start all over, but I decided against it. It's not likely to show up when this shawl is finished, and anyway, this is my first attempt at this pattern and I'm going to cut myself some slack. If I really like the result, I can make another one. I shall ignore my angst.

Now, on to other things.

Every now and then I bumble along and come up with an idea. I don't always realize it's worth sharing until someone comes along and remarks on it. Which brings us to old linen calendar towels.
You know the type:

Vintage Signed VERA 1968 Linen Calendar Tea Towel with Hand Crocheted Edging Dishtowel floral linens cotton psychedlic gardeb
Gorgeous "Vera" Linen Tea Towel from ustabee on Etsy
 http://www.etsy.com/listing/121315260/vintage-signed-vera-1968-linen-calendar   

Now this one's far too pretty to cut up, in my opinion, but often I find slightly worn linen tea towels with very pretty scenes on them that seem far too nice to use for merely drying dishes, and I'll cut those up with abandon.

Here's what I've been doing with mine:

I get a cheap frame from a thrift shop or a garage sale, cut the towel to fit (with a bit left to wrap behind and adhere to the cardboard backing) and voila! I have a cool retro scene to decorate with, and it's cheap-cheap-cheap, and no talent necessary to make!  

Here a couple of others I've slapped together:




This is just a jump-starter. I've been looking at Etsy this morning to find other ideas for those of you who are more ambitious, and there are some terrific items crafters and "up-cyclers" have created with vintage calendar towels. Let me share a few:

SALE vintage linen handbag calendar towel kitsch
 by paulamills on Etsy  http://www.etsy.com/listing/112450012/sale-vintage-linen-handbag-calendar


(Really excellent work! Practical, pretty, and fun--great purse.)


Fun Tablecloth made from Nine Vintage Calendar Dish Towels Dated 1968-1976
by Megover on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/123335394/fun-tablecloth-made-from-nine-vintage
  (Don't you love the dinette set, too?  I'm drooling!)

Vintage Linen Towel Calendar Apron Year 1975 Great Gift if this is a Memorible Year for One Includes Sweet Prayer Blessing
by collectiblesatoz on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/66281106/vintage-linen-towel-calendar-apron-year
 (Aprons! Easy idea! Would be neat for a child.)

Vintage Water Wheel Mill with Barn scene calendar linen pillow- Fall pillow, water wheel, old mill, barn, woodland pillow, country
by kchoos on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/110341027/vintage-water-wheel-mill-with-barn-scene

(Pillows... Another practical and decorative idea.)

Repurposed vintage linen kitchen  towel calendar tote bag
by paulsdotter on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/103506441/repurposed-vintage-linen-kitchen-towel

1974 Calendar Bag, Linen and Beads, Supports Priest River Animal Rescue in Idaho
by naturescorner on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/121942024/1974-calendar-bag-linen-and-beads


(Shopping / tote bags. These would make great gifts in themselves--or use them to fill with gifts for a housewarming or bridal shower, perhaps. An added bonus--the second one supports animal rescue efforts in Idaho.)

Aren't these terrific ideas? I hope you'll spend some time looking at these wonderful Etsy shops and click on some new favorites, post them Pinterest, and so on. Let it be your good deed of the day! We Etsy shopkeepers need all the help we can get.

I feel my creative juices beginning to flow...  Hopefully I'll have another idea to share with you soon.
Well, let's settle for eventually.

 
 

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